I Did The Unthinkable: I Went on a Disney Cruise WITHOUT My Kid!-Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of my short series on Disney Cruising without my kid!  If you missed Part 1, you can find it HERE. Picking up with where I left off at #6:

6.  Fireworks on a cruise ship is cool. No explanation needed (though it should be noted that they shoot the fireworks off of the Starboard side so if your room is on the right side of the ship, you can watch them from your room!).

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Serenity Bay at Castaway Cay

7.  Castaway Cay (Cay is pronounced “Key” by the way) was a neat little island and though some may argue that it is not an authentic island experience as it is owned by Disney, I’ll admit that it was nice to not be harassed by the occasional aggressive local that you may find on other islands. We spent the majority of our morning at Serenity Bay, the Adult’s Only Beach. This section is on the far side of the island so it’s a bit of a hike if you choose to walk.  We took our time getting down there; stopped for pictures with Mickey and Pluto, browsed the shops, etc. and still had plenty of time to grab some prime seating in the shade in a typical plastic beach chair.  There were a few hammocks available as well.  The bar staff was friendly and delivered drinks to you on the beach (I even saw one poor guy go into the water to serve a guest!).  Lunch was served buffet style and consisted of various grilled meats, fish, and vegetables with typical Caribbean island flavors.

8.  With Disney’s new policy regarding onboard booking (allowing you to make a return reservation without choosing a sailing), it’s silly NOT to make a booking if you think you might be even remotely interested in cruising with them again. With onboard booking, you will receive a slightly discounted sailing, a slightly discounted deposit, and up to a $200 onboard credit for your next sailing. There is a dedicated desk on each ship that is open at various times throughout the day.  Because I was not booking a specific sailing, the process only took a few minutes.  As you can book up to 2 staterooms with the onboard offer, I elected to do this so that my parents can travel with us next year.  It should be noted that when booking two staterooms, you and the other adult in your stateroom will be the lead guests on these rooms.  The logistics will be worked out later.  To book the onboard offer without choosing a particular sailing, you will need to place a deposit of $200 per stateroom.  You have 2 years from that date to sail again so once you’ve chosen your next sailing, you will contact your travel agent (ahem) or Disney to complete your booking and pay the additional balance for your deposit.

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You never know when you will run into a character or two. On Castaway Cay, Mickey and Pluto had no lines!

9.  Three nights was not enough time for a cruise only vacation, but the perfect amount of time for a land & sea vacation. If you don’t have a lot of time or cold, hard cash (OR if you’ve never cruised before and want a teaser before you commit to the real thing), then your average 3-day cruise is certainly a stellar option. I had actually cruised once before; it was a budget sailing on an older ship and I was not impressed and in fact swore I would not cruise again. Forgive me for the bad pun, but Disney Cruising is “A Whole New World.”  This is a luxury cruising experience in every sense of the word so after only 3 days, I was looking for a place to hide on board to avoid having to disembark.  Our plan for next year is to sail for 4-days but then combine that with a few days at Walt Disney World as well.

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My husband, Joe, posing by his sweet birthday ride.

10.  Hiring a limo to get us to and from the port was cheaper than Magical Express and WAY cooler.  Magical Express is the complimentary transportation to/from the Orlando Airport to a Walt Disney World resort. For a fee (currently $70 per person ages 3+, roundtrip), you can take the same bus to Port Canaveral.  However, if you have a larger party traveling, you may find that a private transport will actually be cheaper and it has the advantage of being, well…. Private!  As I mentioned in the previous post, we were celebrating my husband’s 40th birthday so I decided that a limo ride was just the ticket for a big time surprise for him.  My agency, Magical Vacations by Me, frequently contacts Charlie and his crew over at Park Avenue Limos (407-688-0850) for our clients so I knew we would receive outstanding service.  We couldn’t have been more pleased with their services.  The rates were fantastic, the limo well maintained, the driver was friendly but professional, and it was such an amazing surprise for my husband.  And let me tell you, after being herded off the ship and through customs, it was AMAZING to be immediately whisked away in my private limo back to the airport instead of cramming onto a large bus with 40 other sad travelers.

I hope this short series was informative, or at the very least, a little entertaining!  My next post will go into more detail about my experience in the Rainforest Room at the Senses Spa on the Disney Dream and why I believe it is a must do.  Until then, feel free to contact me at any time for more information or to assist you in booking your next vacation!  You can find me on Facebook at Magical Vacations by Tracy or email at tracy@magicalvacationsbyme.com.  You can also follow me on Instagram HERE.  See you soon!

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Tracy Hurdle is a work-at-home mother of one and a former social worker turned travel agent.  She’s always had a love of travel planning and couldn’t be happier at being given the opportunity to do so on a broader scale with families just like yours.

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Comments

  1. #9 – I think Disney Cruises should definitely be 7 day when possible! Enough time to get comfortable, relax, have fun, do everything, eat everything, etc. And for an ultimate vacation, 1 week at Disney World followed by a 1 week Disney Cruise!

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